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New here, so I hope I'm posting in the correct spot.

I've been riding for years, mostly sport and dual sport bikes. Currently ride a Suzuki DL1000 Vstrom, and ride it as often, and as far away, as time permits. Love its versatility, and have modded the heck out of it so it does pretty much everything I want it to.

I would, however, like to have a smoother bike for two-up long hauls, but don't want to cough up much at this point, particularly not $15K+ for a latest generation Goldwing. I do all my own wrenching, and can do pretty much anything on my bikes. So... I'm tempted to pick up an older Wing (there's an '86 Interstate near me with less than 30K miles on it), but am wondering whether I'd be getting into a maintenance money pit. I'd definitely want to install a cruise control, but don't know if that's possible (installed a nice vacuum-actuated one on my Vstrom). A new, or reworked, seat might be also be a necessity, in light of my tailbone and back issues. Lastly, having talked with the current owner, and given the low miles on this '86, I don't believe the stator, rectifier, timing belt, or just about anything else has been replaced.

I'd really appreciate any advice, either way, that you all might give me on this decision? Thanks much.
 

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If C/C is what you want (not just a t-lock), then I suggest finding a bike that has it. My 88 has it and it works great. You can find 1500s out there for short money, and not that much more than a 1200,and they have much more to offer for comfort. That being said, I would take ANY year Wing over other bikes. As a matter of fact the 82I is my fav.

All older bikes will need more wrenching than newer. The 1500s have 2 carbs vs. earlier wings having 4. They are easier to work on, but MUCH harder to get at. The rest is about equal (IMHO).


This site has a buying guide for all year wings. Check it out!!



Bill
 

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If that bike is in good overall condition I would jump at it. A 1200 Interstate is exactly what I want. I have a 1200LTD, and have had nothing but problems with it. It had cruise control, but it didn't work, and would not have been easily fixed. Same for the trip computer, stereo system, and onboard air compressor/self leveling system. All that stuff is gone now, but I am stuck with the fuel injection, which is now in pieces on a table in my garage. I'm having to fabricate parts for it that are no longer made. I would love to have carbs. I have several bikes, and have throttle locks on them, one is a Throttlemeister , the rest have a VistaCruise, both of which work well. I have found that there are not many places you can use them though, and have had the same issue with "real" cruise controls in cars. There are very few places where you can cruise at a constant speed for any length of time.

I have found the 1200 engine to be nearly bulletproof, many people have gotten 250,000 out of them. The 1200 Interstate does not have the electronics of the LTD or the 1500 to cause problems. And while the 1500 has only 2 carbs, it also has 6 cylinders

Both have their pros and cons. But I would be very happy with a 1200 in good mechanical condition with no electronics myself. I could live with a throttle lock, and find the stock seat to be fine. The only comfort mod I made was trading the aftermarket floorboards and heel and toe shifter the bike came with for stock pegs and a stock shifter
 

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the 86 you are looking at, is it an sei? if so it is equipped with real cruise control, the 85 ltd is also but beware these 2 models aree starting to give electronics trouble and can be VERY hard to get parts for, i have seen a post in the last month about a guy who installed cruise but i'm not sure whether it was a 1200 or a 1500, the 1500 would be my choice if i were looking.

make sure you get the history on the 1200 if you really want it, they are great bikes and last forever but do require some maint. and if the po tells you the belts were changed then you need proof, ie. the bill from a shop othewrwise: in god we trust, all others we look at sideways
 

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I really like my 1200 LTD, but as with any vehicle, you have to take it on a case by case basis. Mine didn't have any of the issues of JerryH's bike, if it did, I'd probably hate it too. I used the buyers guide available on this site when I shopped for mine, followed it to the letter, and like I said, I'm very happy with mine.

That buyers guide is probably the best thing to reference, it will tell you everything to be concerned with. It's kinda like a BMW (cars that is), if you're shopping for an older bimmer, the first thing you look at is the plastics, if the plastics on the interior are in rough shape, the mechanicals will be too.
 

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Thanks for the quick info. Pretty impressive forum I see. BTW, the bike I'm looking at is a stripped Interstate. No electronics, and I like that with a bike that old.

I've installed a audiovoxx cc (vacuum-actuated) on my vstrom and it works great. Have used numerous throttle locks, but the cc has totally spoiled me. I wonder whether anyone has installed the audiovoxx (now available on murpskits.com) on an '86 Interstate.

Have owned a few carburated bikes (e.g., 4 carb Connie), and have no problem with that fact.

Actually looking the bike over and taking it for a ride will tell me a lot. However, I'm thinking I still may need to be OK with dropping at least few hundred $$ on parts (I'll do the labor). Or maybe more?

Oh, and I did print out the buyer's guide on this site. What a great resource!:claps:
 

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I think the '86 Interstate is a good choice; it's simple.

I had two '83 Aspencades and one was an electronic mess. The digital gages and pump crap didn't work. Considering also that I just got rid of a 2002 GMC Envoy that needed electronic part that the dealer couldn't geet me because the supplier went out of business along with the GM bankruptsy. These vehicles will be unrepairable in the future.

Currently, I'm running a 1982 Aspencade which only has an air pump as an addition to an Interstate. I put a modern radio in it too.

Yea the '86 interstate has 4 carbs, but you can clean them.
 

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Welcome ., buying a used bike is same as buying a used car.
If po permits , check it out yourself over time , if not have it checked out by a pro. at a shop and make your decision based on that.
As for the cruise control , i like the one on my 88 1500 but would be just as happy with the ole throttle lock i had on my older 1200. As a matter of fact , sometimes i would prefer the old throttle lock type.
 

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I don't think the 85 and up GL1200's had the stator problem the 84's had. They still have the problem with the white connector to the left of the battery and most of us just cut that connector out and solder the wires.

The most common ailment on all of the 4 cylinder GLs is the water pump. There are a few sources but for about $200 you can replace the water pump, timimg belts, upper and lower radiator hoses, thermostat and radiator cap. Add another $50 to have the radiator boiled out and you've just given the bike another 20 years of service. As with all old bikes or cars a few hours of cleaning every electrical connection you can find will remove 99% of the gremlins old vehicles have.

In short you should easily be able to run that bike for a conservative 200,000 miles before engine or transmission trouble.
 

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I recently purchased a 1200 LTD and so far, Love it. Mine had minimal mileage so a lot of the above mentioned maintenance have been done plus a few other things that make me feel better. I haven't enough experience with any GoldWings to make a determination one way or the other, good or bad.
 

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1200I But if you think you are good enough to deal with the electronics on the other models what the hell.
 

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Just to follow up on this thread, I test drove the '86 1200 that I was interested in. It only had 28K miles on it, the body plastics were great, and was mostly in really good condition.

The owner listed it as "mint": It was not mint. It had no radio (just an empty space), rust in some places as a result of being covered outside, leaking fork seal, leaking front brake caliper, slow starter turns on start-up, and a few other things. My guess was that, if I got the bike, I'd discover more stuff that needed work as I took things apart. The motor sounded, felt, and looked strong and clean.

Major problem: I'm 6-4, and the seat sits too low to me. My knees where above my thighs, which is not the way I like to ride. Those ergos just don't feel controlled enough to me, and makes me too scrunched up. Given these ergos, along with my desire to not have a "project bike" (though I'm OK with doing some stuff in the beginning), I decided to move on. I'll keep looking at Wings, since they're so nicely set up for two-up riding. I'll also be taking serious looks at some BMWs (both RT and LT bikes). I'm in no rush, but I guess just afflicted with the desire to look for good deals on bikes that I might like to add to my family.

Thanks again to all of you who responded to my questions. Really appreciated your insight, and am very impressed with this forum!
 

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Posted before I saw you passed up on it ..... so never mind .... enjoy the search.



:waving:
 

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Hello all. New to the forum and looking for advice. I'm lookin into an 86 SEI with 100K plus on the bike and 8K on rebuilt engine. The issues the bike has are a vibration at 30-50 mphwhich the current owner says is a bad front tire per Honda dealer.Sound feasable? The second issue is an electrical drain somewhere the supplies cb,radio and trip comp. What are the likely spots to cause this short.
 

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I guess dependes on what you are paying for it. Possibly have him install a new front tire brfore you buy it And if it doesnt cure it i guess you walk
Wilf
 

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I'm not too awfully concerned with the vibration. He says it started after being parked for a while so I think its probably a belt in the tire, they are 5 or 6 years old. More concerned with finding the short in the wiring. I looked at the bike today. The plug is pulled from the back/center of the trip comp to stop battery drain. Any clues as to where to start looking for a short? He said when plugged in it drains the battery quick, but I neglected to ask if "quick" is an hour a day or a week.
 

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Nothing in the trip computer to drain a battery quick. Bigger question id be asking is why a rebuild engine after only a 100000 miles? Bike will run with the trip computer unplugged just some of the dash readouts wont work. drain is probably a bare wire someplace or a weak battery
 

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After thinking a minute about what youve posted Id give that bike a good looking over. The engine build on a 1200 that has much maintance at all is pretty rare. The vibration could be a tire. or it could be this bike took a hard header and busted the engine, bent the frame etc etc. Wings that have been wrecked hard can be put back so that if you dont look carefully you wont notice it.
Check for cracked inner fairing panel etc and bent frame sections. Anything that might lead you to think this bike has bit the dust and been resurectted.
That engine rebuild on a 1200 would make me wary:thumbsdown:
 

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Thank you so very much for your advice. I already passed on this bike atthis time sadly due to the father of one of my sons close friends dying in a motorcycle wreck Sunday. Not a good time for me to buy a bike.
I still had this mystery rolling around in my head though. I hadn't really considered a frame bending header trashing the engine. Now that you've mentioned it I'm thinking something did go on there. The exhaust was welded in three places after the collector and the heat shields were missing in that area. I think it probably hit something and high centered, bent the center of the exhaust and drove the frame into the case. I'll never know for sure. I'll keep my eyes open for one of these in the future. I had my mind set on a 86 SEI or an 85 LTD beacaue I like the looks of that vintage over newer ones, and thinking fuel injection would be less maint. intensive than carbs. After reading about the headaches FI can be I may go for the 87 up style
 

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Kinda curious about the rebiult engine. Must have been done some time ago as i'm shure it would cost more to rebuild the engine than the bike is worht
Wilf
 
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